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Article

Michèle Lavallée

[Fr.: ‘new art’]

Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.

Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...

Article

Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

Alan Crawford

(b Isleworth, Middx, May 17, 1863; d Godden Green, Kent, May 23, 1942).

English designer, writer, architect and social reformer . He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. As a young man he was deeply influenced by the teachings of John Ruskin and William Morris, and particularly by their vision of creative workmanship in the Middle Ages; such a vision made work in modern times seem like mechanical drudgery. Ashbee played many parts and might be thought a dilettante; but his purpose was always to give a practical expression to what he had learnt from Ruskin and Morris. An intense and rather isolated figure, he found security in a life dedicated to making the world a better place.

In 1888, while he was training to be an architect in the office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906), Ashbee set up the Guild and School of Handicraft in the East End of London. The School lasted only until 1895, but the Guild, a craft workshop that combined the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement with a romantic, apolitical socialism, was to be the focus of Ashbee’s work for the next 20 years. There were five guildsmen at first, making furniture and base metalwork. In ...

Article

Frederick N. Bohrer

Style of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th, inspired by Assyrian artefacts of the 9th to 7th centuries bc. These were first brought to public attention through the excavations by Paul-Emile Botta (1802–70) at Khorsabad and Austen Henry Layard at Nimrud in the 1840s. By 1847 both the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London had begun to display these objects, the size and popularity of which were such that the Louvre created a separate Musée des Antiquités Orientales, while the British Museum opened its separate Nineveh Gallery in 1853. The same popularity, fuelled by Layard’s best-selling Nineveh and its Remains (London, 1849) and Botta’s elaborate Monument de Ninive (Paris, 1849–50), led to further explorations elsewhere in Mesopotamia.

Assyrian revivalism first appeared in England rather than France, which was then in political turmoil. The earliest forms of emulation can be found in the decorative arts, such as the ‘Assyrian style’ jewellery that was produced in England from as early as ...

Article

Martha Schwendener

[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]

(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).

American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

Type of lace made since the 17th century at Binche, near Brussels and Valenciennes, both of whose laces it resembles. It is a heavy lace with decorative grounds, and was used for bedspreads and as a costume trimming. The name has since become the generic term for the type of lace once made at Binche....

Article

Edna Carter Southard

(Alfred )

(b Paris, Feb 1, 1874; d Villejuif, nr Paris, Dec 16, 1907).

French painter and printmaker. The son of an Italian hairdresser who sold antiques, Bottini always lived in the Montmartre area of Paris except for two years of military service from 1895. He favoured the English fashions, bars, and language (as in the titles of his pictures and the spelling of his first name). Apprenticed with Annibale Gatti (1828–1909) from 1889 to 1891, he studied at Fernand Cormon’s studio and first showed at Edouard Kleinmann’s gallery in 1894. From 1897 he showed large oil paintings at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He collaborated on woodcuts with Harry van der Zee from 1896 in compositions influenced by Japanese prints, for example Arrival at the Masked Ball (1897; Paris, Bib. N., Cab. Est.). His woodcuts, lithographs, and etchings sold quickly after publication by Edmond D. Sagot. Bottini illustrated for Le Rire in 1897, made several posters, and from ...

Article

Philip Attwood

(b Schavli, Kovno [now Kaunas], June 12, 1871; d New York, April 5, 1924).

American medallist of Lithuanian origin. He trained as a seal-engraver under his father and worked as a jewellery engraver and type cutter. In 1890 he went to New York, where he worked as a die engraver of badges, and in 1898 to Paris to study at the Académie Julian and later with Oscar Roty. He first exhibited medals in the early years of the 20th century. The influence of Roty is apparent in the low relief and soft-edged naturalism and also in the inclusion of flat expanses of metal in his designs. He occasionally ventured into sculpture, as in the Schenley Memorial Fountain (bronze; Pittsburgh, PA, Schenley Park), but he was best known for his medals and plaquettes, both struck and cast, and his sensitive portraits assured his popularity. The powerful head of President Roosevelt on the Panama Canal medal (bronze, 1908) and the tender Shepherdess plaquette (electrotype, 1907...

Article

Marcel Smets

[Karel] (François Gommaire)

(b Brussels, Oct 13, 1837; d Uccle, July 13, 1914).

Belgian urban planner and writer. The son of a jeweller, he spent a somewhat isolated youth: poor health enhanced a shyness, which set him apart from other children. Although he completed secondary schooling, in terms of his vocation he was largely self-taught. After nearly two years of artistic training in Paris and Italy, he gave up plans to follow in his father’s trade, choosing instead to take up the cause of educational reform. With some of his liberal friends he founded in 1864 the Ligue de l’Enseignement, a pressure group with close ties to Masonic circles. He particularly devoted himself to drawing primary instruction away from ecclesiastical influence and to setting up a new teaching method based on comprehension and experience rather than on learning by rote. In 1875 he became the first director of a successful model school created according to these new didactical objectives.

All the while Buls was deeply concerned with the development of the decorative arts. Disappointment with the appeal of the artistic production of his time made him turn to history for roots and principles that might provide a more invigorating approach. Influenced by the mid-19th-century German art historians, Karl Schnaase and Wilhelm Lübke, and by the aesthetic theories of Gottfried Semper, he soon adopted their rationalist thesis whereby each of the decorative arts was to be determined by its use, the properties of its materials and the method of construction. Philosophical considerations by Kant and Schopenhauer convinced him that eternal ideas were the foundation of aesthetical contemplation, ideas that Buls related to the inherent nature and tradition of the population and the place from which the artistic expression emanated. He thus arrived at the concept of a national art that he was to defend for the rest of his life....

Article

Robert Smith

(John)

(b Guernsey, Channel Islands, Feb 28, 1837; d Melbourne, Feb 13, 1918).

Australian photographer of Guernsey birth. After his arrival in South Australia c. 1858, he pursued his interest in photography while working as a hairdresser, becoming a professional photographer in Adelaide in 1867. Economic recession led him to move in 1870 to the neighbouring colony of Victoria, where he worked as hairdresser and photographer in the goldfields settlement of Talbot. By 1871 he was able to open a studio in the larger town of Bendigo, achieving commercial success with carte-de-visite portraits and local views. He had an interest in art, having tried his hand at painting, and became a precursor of Pictorial photography, converting the formally posed group portrait into the conversation piece and producing landscape scenes with human interest genre subjects and picturesque effects to meet a growing nationalistic demand.

To take advantage of his increasing success Caire moved to Melbourne in 1876 to exploit its rapid urban growth as subject-matter, and to use it as a base for forays into the countryside, seeking novel or spectacular subjects. Expansion of the railway system and his adoption of the dry plate process gave him greater mobility, and he was able to photograph increasingly remote localities, culminating in an expedition to Mt Buffalo, in ...

Article

Jan Glier Reeder

French couture house. Established at 24, Rue Thaitbout by three sisters, Marie Callot Gerber, Marthe Callot Bertrand and Regine Callot Tennyson-Chantrelle. The sisters shared an artistic heritage; their mother was a lacemaker and their father an artist and professor who was descended from the master draftsman and etcher Jacques Callot.

Maison Callot Soeurs rapidly became a principal couture house, along with the other great names of the period such as Jacques(-Antoine) Doucet, Jeanne Paquin, Charles Frederick Worth, Rouff and Raudnitz. By 1900 the sisters were already employing 600 workers and had participated in the Parisian couturiers’ famed first joint fashion display at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900. In 1914 they moved address to 9–11, Avenue Matignon and again in 1932, to 41, Avenue Montaigne. In 1917, they opened a London branch at 7 Buckingham Gate. The London branch was closed in 1935 and the business was absorbed into Calvet in ...

Article

Elizabeth Q. Bryan

[Hattie Kanengeiser, Henrietta Köningeiser]

(b Vienna, Austria, Mar 15, 1886; d New York City, Feb 22, 1956)

American fashion designer. Hattie Carnegie was an international tastemaker and fashion entrepreneur. For more than thirty years she presided over a leading New York couture house that offered clients licensed copies of Paris originals as well as ‘Hattie Carnegie Originals’ created by her staff of designers. She also created an empire of retail and wholesale clothing, jewelry, perfume and cosmetics worth over $8 million upon her death in 1956.

Carnegie was born in Vienna, Austria, to parents who immigrated to the United States. Early in her life she adopted the surname of the industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie because of its association with wealth. At the age of 13, upon the death of her father, a tailor in New York’s garment district, she became a messenger for Macy’s department store. The ambitious Carnegie then went to work as a milliner and sales clerk in Greenwich Village for the neighborhood dressmaker Rose Roth. Some details of Carnegie’s career remain ambiguous, even those she provided herself to journalists, but it is generally accepted that by ...

Article

Style rooted in 19th-century antiquarian studies of ancient Celtic art in Britain and Ireland. It was a mainly decorative style and first appeared in the 1840s, remaining fashionable from the 1890s to c. 1914 and lingering on through the 1920s. Derived from the complex, intertwining, linear motifs of ancient Celtic ornament, it was employed in metalwork, jewellery, embroidery, wall decoration, wood inlay, stone-carving and textiles. The Celtic Revival was closely related to the English Arts and Crafts Movement’s aim of social and artistic reform and was part of the general upsurge of Romantic interest in the Middle Ages. Its chief characteristics were raised bosses, tightly enmeshed roundels and bands of sinuous, criss-crossing lines, similar to but more abstract than Art Nouveau designs. Sources of inspiration were such Celtic antiquities as the Tara Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice (both 8th century ad; Dublin, N. Mus.), the Battersea Shield (c. 2nd century ...

Article

Nancy Deihl

British couture firm known for fine tailoring. Founded in 1710 by James Creed, the house was operated by six generations of the Creed family. Over the course of two and a half centuries, Creed grew from a small tailor’s shop into a respected couture house, offering women the fine materials, technical finesse and prestige associated with bespoke menswear. The same family established a renowned fragrance company that continues in operation as the House of Creed, under the direction of Olivier Henry Creed (b 1943).

For almost 150 years, Creed was located solely in London, by the 1820s at 33 Conduit Street, where its clientele appreciated the traditional styling and impeccable workmanship of the firm. As the restrained elegance associated with English style grew in popularity in the early 19th century, Creed gained a more international following. Many important and memorable figures of fashion, including Alfred, Comte d’Orsay (...

Article

(b Venarcy, Côte-d’Or, Jan 2, 1854; d Dijon, Sept 26, 1945).

French sculptor, jeweller and furniture designer. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon and then, in 1874, under François Jouffroy and Paul Dubois (ii) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He first exhibited at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français in 1876 with his bust of an architect called Belot (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.) and in 1877 he came second in the Prix de Rome. In 1879 he was awarded a second-class medal for his plaster sculpture Ismael (Châlons-sur-Marne, Mus. Mun.) and in 1881 he won a first-class medal for the marble St John the Baptist (Paris, Mus. d’Orsay). He travelled in Italy from 1882 to 1883 and later visited Spain and Morocco on a travel scholarship. In 1889 he ceased exhibiting at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français and instead exhibited at the recently established Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He worked primarily in bronze but also in ivory, silver and gold, and produced some jewellery. His sculptures were mainly inspired by religious and mythological subjects executed in a highly finished academic style (e.g. ...

Article

Malcolm Gee

Reviser Pamela Elizabeth Grimaud

(b Paris, Feb 19, 1853; d Paris, July 17, 1929).

French couturier, patron, collector and bibliophile (see fig.). He joined his family’s clothing business in 1875 and played a central role in its development into one of the premier haute couture houses in Paris. Refined, exacting and possessed of an unerring appreciation for beauty, Doucet was an avid patron of the arts whose taste was reflected in the fashions designed under his name. He may initially have bought art for public relations purposes; however, it became the central interest in his life, partly, it seems, because the superior exercise of taste allowed him to compensate for social disappointments. Following a vogue that was already quite widespread by 1880, he built up an outstanding collection of 18th-century French art and design, which he housed in a magnificent 18th-century style hôtel in the Rue Spontini: it included Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Le Feu aux poudres (Paris, Louvre), Jean-Siméon Chardin’s House of Cards...

Article

A. Kenneth Snowman

(Gustavovitch)

(b St Petersburg, May 30, 1846; d Lausanne, Sept 24, 1920).

Russian goldsmith and Jeweller. He was descended from Huguenot stock, and his family had fled France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and had settled in eastern Germany. In the 18th century a goldsmith from Württemberg with the name of either Faberger or Fabiger settled in St Petersburg; he may have been a relative. Fabergé’s father, Gustav (Petrovitch) Fabergé (1814–72), moved c. 1830 to St Petersburg, where he served his apprenticeship as a goldsmith and became a master in 1841 with an independent workshop. In 1842 he opened a jewellery shop. Carl toured Europe between 1860 and 1864; he returned to St Petersburg as a master goldsmith and joined his father’s firm, which he took over in 1870. In 1882 his brother, Agathon Fabergé (1862–95), joined the firm.

At the beginning of his career Fabergé produced bracelets and medallions decorated with stones and enamels. He transformed the conventional jewellery business by insisting that the value of an object should reside in its craftsmanship rather than its materials. Under his direction, the firm moved away from the contemporary custom of setting large gemstones in shoddy settings and produced elaborate diamond-set pendant brooches, ribbon-knot necklaces and trelliswork bracelets. From ...

Article

Sarah Scaturro

Technology influences the physical manifestation of fashion, affecting a garment’s appearance and performance. Throughout history, changes in technology affecting the production of materials and the manufacture of garments and accessories have spurred changes in fashion design. In the 20th and 21st centuries, technology has affected not only the look of fashion, but how the fashion system works.

Much of the relationship between technology and fashion centres on textiles. Looms often determine the size and complexity of textiles. Fabric woven on a simple backstrap loom has inherently smaller widths in reference to the size of the human body, whereas fabric woven on the drawloom can be several feet wide and contain more complex weave structures, which translates into more sophisticated patterning options. The drawloom process (which requires two people—the weaver and a person who ‘draws’ up warps at specific points to create the pattern) was mechanized in the early 19th century with the invention of the jacquard loom and its punch card system. Lyons in France and Spitalfields in England were two of the most technologically advanced silk-weaving centres....

Article

Lourdes Font, Beth McMahon, Cassandra Gero, Ann Poulson, Nancy Deihl, Lourdes M. Font, Deirdre Clemente and Clare Sauro

This article defines, describes and traces the history of the major categories of Western fashion design, with an emphasis on women’s high fashion.

The term ‘underwear’ refers to several different types of garment worn under outer layers of clothing. The first type is the basic undergarment worn next to the skin, historically made of washable linen or cotton. The English term ‘linen’ and the French term ‘lingerie’ (Fr. linge: ‘linen’) are synonyms for basic undergarments. The second type of underwear is a foundation garment worn to alter the shape of the body. The term ‘understructure’ also applies to these garments, which create or support the silhouette demanded by fashion at a given time. Although at various times it has been fashionable to reveal underwear at the neckline, sleeve or hemline, both basic undergarments and the foundation garments worn over them are usually invisible under the outer layers of clothing. Finally, there is a type of lingerie identified as undress; clothing that is worn only in private situations in the home. Although not considered acceptable public attire, over time undress frequently develops into fashionable outerwear....

Article

Lourdes Font and Beth McMahon

Fashion is defined as the act or process of making or shaping. As applied to dress, (see Dress) it can be understood to mean the making or shaping of the appearance of the body by means of clothing and adornment in a way that expresses aesthetic ideals that are continually subject to change. Like dress in general, fashion is a multi-faceted cultural phenomenon and plays an important role in defining social class, gender and identity. Fashionable dress, however, is distinguished by constant and rapid changes in style, transmitted through the representation of the fashionable ideal in visual art and media as well as through the direct interaction of individual fashion leaders. The word ‘fashion’ also indicates the global system of design, production and consumption of garments and accessories that are, for a limited time, considered fashionable and thus invested with greater social value (see fig.). The fashion industry today is a global system, but it has not always existed at all places and times. This article discusses the origin and development of Western fashion....